Now, the publication MiBiz–which focuses on business news–has published an editorial against the Employee Free Choice Act.
Like the editorials in The Grand Rapids Press and those being written by business groups across the country, the MiBiz editorial repeats many common falsehoods myths and distortions about the EFCA. The editorial was written by Chuck Hadden of the Michigan Manufacturers Association. Given his position as a leader of an organization representing business owners, it’s really no surprise that he is speaking out against the legislation–they clearly have a vested interest in keeping labor laws as they are: favoring employers.
Hadden argues that, “One of the most compelling arguments against the EFCA is that employees would, for all intents and purposes, lose their right to a secret ballot for union representation.” Of course, this argument has been shown to be false time and time again, as Hadden admits one sentence later when he says that workers could still use the so-called “secret ballot” for elections if they want. So, what’s the big deal? It would give workers the choice and take away the current pro-employer bias in labor law.
He further argues that workers would lose their privacy when he says that:
“It is important to remember that privacy in the election process provides important protections for both employers and employees and those protections would be stripped away under the EFCA if unions get their way. Those signed cards would be viewed by both employers and union representatives. Under the guise of “freedom” and “choice,” employees would be forced to openly declare their affiliations or intentions with regard to unionization efforts which is an open invitation for harassment, intimidation and coercion.”
However, like most critics of the EFCA, Hadden completely ignores the frequency with which employers intimidate and harass workers trying to form unions. They can do it because penalties are so low, the Employee Free Choice Act would help reverse that.
Hadden also argues that other changes including arbitration and timelines for elections, would hurt employers and employees:
“the National Labor Relations Board already has strict procedures to ensure fair private ballot elections, free of employer or union coercion. These existing procedures are no threat to unions; they lead to swift and fair elections.”
Again, he ignores criticism of the NLRB process which University of Oregon political scientist Gordon Lafer, Ph.D argues has little resemblance to democratic process.
It’s important to keep the spotlight on the Employee Free Choice Act–union membership should be a basic right and its historically been responsible for many gains in wages and the expansion of the middle class, both here in the United States and globally. It’s essential that union organizers, progressives, radicals, and workers work together to promote the act because we’re up against quite an array of forces, namely corporations and their allies in the government and the media.